Thursday, December 15, 2011
Interview with author Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Today's guest author is Tracey Cramer-Kelley. She's touring her newest novel, True Surrender, with Goddess Fish Promotions.
Tracey is giving away a Fallen Soldier T-Shirt to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Details are below.
Welcome, Tracey. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My work fuses writing, music, and visual imagery and includes novels, short stories, essays and music videos. My first novel, Last Chance Rescue, was a Finalist in the Romance category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. My second, True Surrender, has a companion full-length music video, "The Rose (Surrender Version)."
My writing draws from my experience as an Army Reserve paramedic and exposure to helicopter medivac. I obtained my helicopter pilot license in 2001. My husband and I own a motorcycle accessories business and live in small-town Minnesota with our children (son, 8, and daughter, 4).
Please tell us about your current release.
When Major Aaron Bricewick is rescued from Afghanistan terrorists, he thinks the worst is over. But his personal journey is just beginning...
The first surprise is the amputation of one of his legs. The second is the woman he left behind, now a widow with a 4-year-old son - and his new prosthetist (artificial limb maker).
He vows that losing his leg won't derail his career. But maintaining his outward appearance as a got-it-together officer becomes increasingly difficult as he faces one personal demon after another - and sees his career aspirations slipping away. And though he has no intention of expanding his life to include a woman, his heart has other ideas - and he finds himself questioning the very foundation of his personal beliefs.
When violence - and unexpected redemption - touch his life again, Aaron must make a stand. Which will he choose: duty or love?
What inspired you to write this book?
My writing is heavily influenced by the time I spent in the military and by the medical training I received there. Much of my writing explores the experiences our military personnel have lived through but find hard to explain in the context of everyday life, as well as the inherent struggle in their personal relationships.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I think there is another novel working its way through my subconscious. I also have a couple of erotica short stories I may actually finish. I'm even exploring more projects that fuse writing with music and visual imagery.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
There were two defining moments.
The first: holding the “draft copy” of my first novel, Last Chance Rescue. I was in awe. I caressed the cover; I kept opening the front flap to look at my name inside. The hundreds of hours, the agonizing over edits, and the painstaking care I’d taken in the details of the book and its presentation (cover, layout, etc.) were suddenly all worth it. (Never mind that no one had seen it yet!)
The second: being named as a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Awards. I had struggled with getting the word out about Last Chance Rescue—the requisite “self promotion” doesn’t come naturally. But here was someone else (not just me) saying the book was good! It was validation in its truest sense, and came at a pivotal time.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Unfortunately, I do not get to write every day. My real job (the one that pays the bills) is running the business my husband and I own, Leader Motorcycle, and it’s very busy in spring and summer (luckily I enjoy it!).
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A fun twist to my writing is that characters in my novels are intertwined. For instance, hero of True Surrender, Aaron Bricewick, was briefly married when he was younger. His wife? None other than Jessie Van Dyke, the heroine of my first novel, Last Chance Rescue.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a long time I wanted to be a veterinarian. By the time I went to college, the goal was to be a physical therapist.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
With the launch of True Surrender, I also introduced my first full-length video, titled "The Rose (Surrender Version)." It's my own arrangement of Bette Midler's classic, but with a more upbeat rhythm and a bluesy feel. It contains scenes from True Surrender enacted by actors (who did a phenomenal job). I loved this entire process and I’d like to do more of this type of project.
For more details about The Making of a Music Video, check out my blog posts, and watch the video.
The song is available for download on CDBaby.com and iTunes, and with some luck the video will soon be as well.
People can find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, too.
Thank you for being here today, Tracey.
Readers, Tracey is giving away a Fallen Soldier T-shirt (red, size TBD) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. I encourage you to check out the tour dates and locations and comment. The more you comment, the better your chance of winning.